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 Post subject: [Story] Names
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:08 am 
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Names


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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Names
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:10 pm 
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Thanks for sharing!

Having had a hand in doing some post apocalyptic fiction myself, I can appreciate the weight of a fair few choices in the telling of this story. My biggest complaint probably isn't terribly relevant, given the pop up nature of the story and the actual emphasis, but when working with so few elements, it really makes me wish we had a better sense of the character of the place. The setting effectively becomes a companion when nobody else is around.

It's, odd, maybe ironic, but I liken this piece most closely to a cross between "Horse with no name" and "Under the Bridge". Is it odd that I find the writing most remiscent of music?

As to the actual writing, it is, of course as usual, technically impeccable. I personally find the refrain a little too omnipresent, a few times too frequent to carry as much weight as ir probably should. Albeit, that's a personal opinion, but be as it may, it is how I feel.

The last comment I have might just be too much a literal read, but I can't say I much care for the idea of the price being her memory. If, in a metaphorical sense, that works well enough, but if in a literal sense it does much to muddy the water of experience, to strip an epoch off her suffering. If she merely can't remember because time is a harsh mistress, that is a sad thing and adds great layers to the tale, but if it was a device of the deal, it makes things feel less engaging.

And lastly, largely a non sequitur, but I'm just reminded that somewhere in the multiverse, the Shifter is running up a bar tab while wearing Raiker Venn's face.

_________________
At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: [Story] Names
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:56 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
Thanks for sharing!

And as always, thanks for reading and commenting! Much appreciated.

Barinellos wrote:
Having had a hand in doing some post apocalyptic fiction myself, I can appreciate the weight of a fair few choices in the telling of this story. My biggest complaint probably isn't terribly relevant, given the pop up nature of the story and the actual emphasis, but when working with so few elements, it really makes me wish we had a better sense of the character of the place. The setting effectively becomes a companion when nobody else is around.

That's certainly fair. I tried to drop in a few notes, but yeah, it is kind of bare-bones, thinking about it. Mostly, I just didn't want this to go on too long, as I thought it would dilute the point a bit.

Barinellos wrote:
It's, odd, maybe ironic, but I liken this piece most closely to a cross between "Horse with no name" and "Under the Bridge". Is it odd that I find the writing most remiscent of music?

While neither were an intentional inspiration for this piece, I think both are very appropriate for it. The first couple of lines of "Under the Bridge" really fit well, as does the hook of "I don't ever wanna feel like I did that day."

Ironically, there is something in this story, which wound up playing a much smaller role than I had originally intended (and which I hope I or someone else develops further at some point in the future) which is directly inspired by a song, but it's not a song I would expect anybody to know, as I don't think it even charted back when it first came out. The song is called "Jenny," and it's by Harry Chapin. The most relevant verse is this:

Harry Chapin wrote:
I have seen a great city in the darkness
Dream lady dressed in cold concrete
I've seen the City of Angles
With the names of its dead in the street

Something about that last line always hits me as a wonder fantasy-genre image (even though he was almost undoubtedly referring to the Hollywood Walk of Fame). I picture it more like a tradition in a city, or even a world, to carve the names of its dead into the stone streets. In this story, there are so many dead, the idea gets really evocative to me. I love the idea, although because it wasn't the focus of this story, I don't think I did the concept justice.

Barinellos wrote:
As to the actual writing, it is, of course as usual, technically impeccable. I personally find the refrain a little too omnipresent, a few times too frequent to carry as much weight as ir probably should. Albeit, that's a personal opinion, but be as it may, it is how I feel.

Yeah, it shows up six times, which out of 2222 words might be a bit too frequent. I was trying to play around with structure here, where it's something that she keeps coming back to because it's a part of her personality that she actually knows. She's lost so much of the rest of it. Each time it shows up, it is spaced further from the time before (one body paragraph separates the first and the second, two separates the second and third, three separate the third and fourth, and so forth). I was hoping this might subtly hint that she's slowly losing even this understanding of herself. But again, it wasn't the main focus, so if it didn't work, I'm not too worried about it.

Barinellos wrote:
The last comment I have might just be too much a literal read, but I can't say I much care for the idea of the price being her memory. If, in a metaphorical sense, that works well enough, but if in a literal sense it does much to muddy the water of experience, to strip an epoch off her suffering. If she merely can't remember because time is a harsh mistress, that is a sad thing and adds great layers to the tale, but if it was a device of the deal, it makes things feel less engaging.

I'll have to reread it, because I may have made a mistake there. It wasn't my intention to imply that she gave up her memory. What she gave up for her immortality was her literacy. She literally can't read anymore. That's why it's always "markings" instead of "words." Of course, the deeper concept I'm hinting at here is the tie between writing and memory, and the stinging irony that the last remaining sapient on the plane cannot record its history. I'll have to look through to see if I stated something to the contrary, or if it's just the dominant impression of the piece. It was the second thing you said, the oppression of time on a mind that was never intended to live nearly as long as it has, that is affecting her memory.

Barinellos wrote:
And lastly, largely a non sequitur, but I'm just reminded that somewhere in the multiverse, the Shifter is running up a bar tab while wearing Raiker Venn's face.

:bored:

:D

Thanks for the critique, Barinellos!


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